Trade commissioner joking about human rights situation in Columbia

Karel de Gucht is responsable for EU's trade policy

Colombia is widely recognized as having one of the worst records on human rights protection. This country has the world record in murder of trade unionist. After Sudan, it is the country with the biggest number of displaced persons.

Human rights are core values of the European Union, they are embedded in its founding treaty, and countries which have concluded trade and other agreements with the EU must respect human rights. Still, in April this year, the European Commission has signed a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia....

German MEP Jürgen Klute therefore raised a question to the European Commission about how they will insure that the violations of human rights will not continue in Colombia.

The surprising answer given by Karel De Gucht, Commissioner for international trade issues: "Insure it's a difficult word that you are using, we are not an insurance company, we are a political body!"

Do you find human rights breaches so funny, Mr Commissoner?